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Record number of international exchange students at WU

With a total of 612 in­com­ing stu­dents from 61 dif­fer­ent coun­tries, this win­ter semester sets a re­cord for the num­ber of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents start­ing an ex­change semester or year at WU. WU’s ad­vant­age­ous loca­tion and ex­cel­lent repu­ta­tion at­tract stu­dents from around the world.

In­ter­na­tion­al­ity has been a driv­ing force be­hind WU’s devel­op­ment since its found­ing. WU has been a pi­on­eer among Aus­trian uni­versit­ies in its in­ter­na­tion­al­iz­a­tion ef­forts, and es­tab­lished a com­mit­tee for in­ter­na­tional con­tacts and an In­ter­na­tional Of­fice in 1990. The In­ter­na­tional Of­fice is re­spons­ible for or­gan­iz­ing in­ter­na­tional mobil­ity pro­grams for in­com­ing and out­go­ing stu­dents, and has re­por­ted a re­cord num­ber of 612 in­com­ing ex­change stu­dents for the 2018/19 win­ter semester. The USA, Italy, Spain, and Ch­ina top the list of in­com­ing stu­dents’ home coun­tries. “Based on the total num­ber of stu­dents, no other Aus­trian uni­versity has hos­ted as many in­com­ing ex­change stu­dents or sent as many stu­dents to part­ner uni­versit­ies abroad as WU. We are pround of this new re­cord and see it as con­firm­a­tion that our in­ter­na­tional ap­proach and high qual­ity stand­ards are re­cog­nized world­wide,” says Rector Edel­traud Hanap­pi-Eg­ger.

WU’s loca­tion and repu­ta­tion as de­cid­ing factors

Stu­dents are sur­veyed about their mo­tiv­a­tion for choos­ing WU as their host uni­versity abroad every year. The top three reas­ons are the city of Vi­enna, fol­lowed closely by WU’s repu­ta­tion, and the ad­vant­age­ous geo­graph­ical loca­tion of Aus­tria in the heart of Europe. This in­dic­ates that WU’s loca­tion in Vi­enna, which ranked num­ber one in the 2018 Mer­cer Qual­ity of Liv­ing Sur­vey, is a def­in­ite plus for the uni­versity. In­com­ing stu­dents also name WU’s teach­ing port­fo­lio as a fur­ther im­port­ant reason for choos­ing WU: De­cid­ing factors in­clude the op­por­tun­ity to learn Ger­man as a for­eign lan­guage, a wide vari­ety of classes taught in Eng­lish, and an at­tract­ive se­lec­tion of avail­able courses in gen­eral. Stu­dents are also asked why they de­cided to go on ex­change at all, and what they see as the main be­ne­fits. The op­por­tun­ity to travel re­mains a cru­cial factor in most stu­dents’ de­cision, fol­lowed by in­terest in ex­per­i­en­cing a new aca­demic en­vir­on­ment in second place, and im­prov­ing for­eign lan­guage skills com­ing in third.

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